November 2nd, 2008

Damage/torture to paralyse, but preserve sensations

I have two characters getting vengeance on a third. One of the torturers has very detailed knowledge of anatomy and various torture methods, the other has magic control of water - including water in the human body, so they can inflict just about any damage, even pin-point precise severing of particular nerves or tendons.

How would they go about making sure their victim is completely paralysed - from the neck down, certainly, unable to speak, and if possible unable to do anything but blink - but conscious and able to feel pain in all his body?

The state has to be permanent, and allow him to survive with contemporary medical technology and good care (in a German hospital) for about fifteen years.

I've googled all sorts of medical terms, but the requirement to preserve pain sensation stumps me.

Shoplifting in Wal-Mart

Just by the way, thanks so much for the help last time - I actually got the difficult carjacking scene done with. NaNoWriMo hasn't kicked my butt yet!

Now my characters are at a random Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart, at least in my experience, works the same the world over, but I figure this little point is worth double-checking.

This Wal-Mart gets items stolen - namely some clothing, but food and bandages too. I'm assuming because of the fact that different sections are restocked at different times, and different people work in each one, that the thefts will not be connected.

I'm also assuming the thefts won't be discovered for at least a few hours after the occurence. Am I wrong? Would it be longer?

So... when they do realize that the clothes - the most valuable items, although "valuable" is kind of relative at Wal-Mart - are gone, will they even bother to check security cameras? I'm under the impression that if they didn't catch my characters going out the door, that they won't want to go back and check hours of security footage for a theft that occured at some unknown time.

I'm hoping I'm right here, so that I don't have to deal with whether or not the police will be able to follow their trail.

Thanks for the help in advance.

Brain injury leading to a loss of a specific skill

Is there a way the brain can be injured in a way that a person forgets only one, quite trivial skill? (In my story's case that would be playing an instrument.) I'd prefer the character to mostly preserve his other cognitive skills and mobility, though slight changes in concentration, coordination, balance etc. are okay.

The setting for my story is the mid 19th century, but I mostly need to sort this out to decide whether the character's problem with his playing is real or imagined. However, the character obviously needs to survive the possible head trauma, so in that sense the setting matters.

I've read various websites on brain injuries I've found under search terms 'brain injury' and 'head trauma' +'symptoms', but I don't really know how to specify my search. Based on what I've read, it seems to me that usually a brain injury causes a wider range of symptoms, but I'd like to be sure.

Thanks a lot in advance!

Hand injuries resulting from grabbing a knife blade

Timeframe: Modern times.
Setting: For frame of reference, the place I have in mind is a lot like central Philadelphia.
Google terms: hand injuries knife, grabbing knife by blade injuries, knife hand injuries, mugging self-defense, hand stitches (I ended up getting sewing tips), hand injuries... Uhm. My Google-fu is weak, master.

I get wordy sometimes, and I know stitches bother me...Collapse )

Thanks for any help you can give, guys.

EDIT: I meant a bass guitar. XD I'm sorry, guys. I do want to see someone try to make off with a string bass, though.

Victorian profanity

The setting is Victorian era urban England. I've searched all the regular internet spots, google'd and wikipedia'd (Victorian profanity, vulgar/coarse/etc. language + victorian era and variations thereof). What I'm trying to find is vulgar language used by young men in the Victorian era. I've found a lot about how there wasn't much profanity in the Victorian era, like how "leg" was considered sexually explicit, (the terms "lib" and "lower extremity" were substituted). Surely it wasn't nonexistant, though, especially among very casual college-aged young men.

Any sort of examples would be awesome (I'm sure there are plenty of religiously-based vulgarities), but I'm specifically looking for language associated with sex/genitals, like whether the term "balls" was in use then at all. I know it was extremely taboo to use that kind of language in the Victorian era, but the situation is very, very casual.

On a related note, how would someone in England go about getting a hold of prohibited works such as The Lustful Turk or The Autobiography of a Flea? Or any sort of lewd things such as that. I know that my character could subscribe to Sir Richard Francis Burton's publisher for a private edition of the sexually explicit One Thousand and One Nights; were there any other sorts of privately-printed books like that? My character can use any means to get a hold of something if he's interested in it, I just need to know if there was some sort of black market for this kind of thing.

ETA: I now have a huge amount of slang resources, those will keep me busy for a while! Thanks so much everyone.